False Claims Act violations can spell trouble for government contractors, or anyone doing business with the government.
Penalties for False Claims Act violations can be severe, and in serious cases can lead to a company's suspension or debarment from contracting, or criminal sanctions. With Congressional and media focus increasingly fixed on procurement fraud and other contracting improprieties, and an increase of qui tam whistleblower lawsuits alleging violations of the False Claims Act, contractors must be very careful that their employees' actions do not create False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act prohibits a company from knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the U.S. government or knowingly making a false record or statement to get a false claim paid. However, recent court cases have shown that those who do business with the government can be held liable under the False Claims Act for claims that they did not even actually know were false.
The government is not required to show that a contractor actually ever intended to defraud the government of contract funds. The government can establish a False Claims Act violation by simply showing that a contractor knowingly, recklessly or with "deliberate ignorance" made a false statement, if the statement is connected in a reasonably direct way to contract requirements.
Our lawyers are experienced at helping clients limit their exposure to False Claims Act government and qui tam lawsuits through preventive counseling and effective representation.
We routinely advise clients on the development of corporate compliance programs so that the risks of false claims issues can be reduced avoided in the first place. If issues arise, we counsel clients on the best course of corrective action to mitigate the risks of liability. When a client finds itself under investigation or facing litigation, we will take the lead to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.